Old Settles, Wooden Floors

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 3

A Taste of St Leonards – The St Leonard

At first glance, there is nothing to London Road except a mishmash of shop fronts, infills and traffic and that can often offend those more used to gleaming shopping centres and pedestrianised streets but you must look further into the character of both the shops and the people who belong to London Road.

My wife and I grew up in Nottingham and we both remember similar streets, indeed, my father had a thriving pharmacy on one such street now demolished. Everyone knew my father and so everyone knew me. St Anns Wells Road, Alfred Street and Arkwright Street all provided everything that you needed from sweet shops and cake shops, milliners, butchers and bakers, green grocers and grocers, a Home and Colonial, a Dewhurst’s, book shops and cafes, a pub on every corner and almost as many churches. To me, London Road is the same.

St Leonards PosterA pint in the CAMRA award winning St Leonard, creaking with atmosphere, old settles, wooden floors and life, helps the musings for ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ and the forthcoming ‘Pub Walks in 1066 Country’.

The St Leonard is not some country pub but a warm and friendly town pub, refurbished in 2012, (it was formerly known as The Warrior Gate a corruption of the original 1833 name Warhouse Gate, taken from the name of an old lime kiln).

Now its wooden floors, mismatched tables and chairs, local art work and three regularly changing guest beers create a busy urban chic.

There is popcorn served with drinks and a food tasting menu available that includes sausage rolls, scotch eggs, charcuterie plate and pork pies and pizzas can be delivered to your table.

On one visit, I tried Brighton Bier South Coast IPA 5%, St Austell Trelawny 3.8%, Hogs Back TEA 4.2% and a taste of Prehistoric Amber 4.5%. All were well conditioned and well-kept but on the next visit, they are likely to have changed. Another time, I was impressed with the Franklins St Leonard, Franklins Greedy Guvnor as well as the Hogsback T.E.A.- again!

There is always a welcome and despite the restricted hours (Wednesday to Saturday 5pm -11pm and Sunday 3pm – 9pm) it is one to visit, to drink a pint and to sit and think – after all, they say that there is a book in us all! With such restricted opening hours it may be one to note in that black beer stained notebook to return to later.

If it is closed, there is consolation opposite in The Oak Bakery where money can be invested in their wonderful and moreish ‘Portuguese tarts’!

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy:Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

A Quiet, Atmospheric, Dog Friendly Pub

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 3

A Taste of St Leonards – The Horse and Groom

Posh St Leonards, still full of Victorian and Edwardian grandeur. Those dreams that occupied the rich and famous have been largely replaced by a more pragmatic approach to urban living. The big houses still command Burton St Leonards but many have been converted to flats. The little terraced cottages, that housed the tradesmen and the washerwomen, now possess a chic that is more appealing and far more affordable.

Burton St Leonards was the first new seaside resort for the wealthy and became instantly popular with royalty and aristocracy. There were service areas for the new town; Mercatoria for shopping, and Lavatoria for laundry.

It was said ‘We should look in vain on any other coast in England for such a range of buildings as those he (James Burton) has raised below St Leonards Cliff; of a superior order, though not so ornamented as some of his previous structures. None but the unrivalled crescents of Bath and Bristol is superior to the Marina of St Leonards’. (Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places A.B. Granville, 1841).’

Horse 2The Horse and Groom was St Leonards’ first pub. It was built and licensed in 1829 for the benefit of the workforce busy constructing the new town of St Leonards. It is on record that they were so thirsty that the pub opened before the windows were installed. Workers also came to the Horse and Groom on Saturday nights to be paid their wages and were called in from the street one by one. They came again on Sundays to quench another thirst, this time to listen to the newspapers being read aloud. Edward Thebay was ‘Sunday reader’ at the Horse and Groom for many years. (Hastings Pub History).

Thirsty workers/walkers still visit The Horse and Groom. Warm and friendly, the two rooms are separated by a horseshoe bar and a back room for larger groups. The beers, Harvey’s Best and one or two guests, are always good and you get the feeling of a proper pub with no taped music, no food (just cobs on the bar, if you are lucky) and eclectic decoration. A quiet, atmospheric, dog friendly pub where you can enjoy good conversation and when I visited, the guests were Young’s Winterwarmer, Longman Long Blade and a fine Green King Abbot that slipped down a treat.

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy:Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

Daytripper – A Taste of St Leonards

A St Leonards’ Pub Walk from

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Featuring The Horse and Groom and The St Leonard

Pub Walk 3

Watch the Walk on You Tube

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks. To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here

Walks, Talks and Books from History Walks

Links:

The St Leonard, CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

Expand Your World

Take A Walk in the Park

 

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The North Star and Alexandra Park, Hastings.

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards

Probably one of the best parks in the country.

Venture beyond the wide-open spaces of children running and playing and mums and dads trying to keep up. Cross the road into the beginnings of winding paths and streams that weave between the trees. A miniature railway has occasional outings to the whoops and shouts of its passengers.

Gentle climbs lead you beyond a fishing lake into the beginnings of a steep valley with unmade paths that follow the stream to Old Roar Ghyll – imagining and exploring. There are ferns and overhanging trees, the sound of the water rushing through gullies and a feel of mystery, emphasised by a darkness even in high summer.

Back the same way to walk to the other side of that fishing lake and a track carpeted with leaves. It leads to more black pools surrounded by dark trees and the path climbs but the steepest hill is left to the last to ensure your thirst for a pint at The North Star that is just around the corner.

The return leads you downhill through the trees to that more manicured park, past the café and children’s playground to the gates and full circle’

The North Star is a treat too. A proper pub with little of the 21st century. It was most likely named after the famous railway locomotive built by George Stephenson for the Great Western Railway. At one point, the locomotive was shipped to New Orleans, intended for the New Orleans Railway but the money could not be found to pay for it and it was duly returned. But why The North Star when it was so far from the station? Maybe the link is Joseph Wisden, a former guard on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, who built the pub in the late 1860s with steam still running through his veins.

The beer is good too!

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CAMRA WhatPub

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards

The General Havelock to Hastings Pier and Back

All Around the America Ground is on You Tube

Featuring The General Havelock, Hastings Pier, The White Rock Hotel, The Palace.

 

You Tube

Whether you are a visitor or a local take the time to be a Daytripper and enjoy

‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Available from Hastings Tourist Information

Mail Order: http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

For a full list of stockists and walks in the History Walk series see website

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

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CAMRA WhatPub –

https://whatpub.com/pubs/HES/HASTI-3000/general-havelock-hastings

https://whatpub.com/pubs/HES/HASTI-9200/white-rock-hotel-hastings

Daytripper – The Pier for a Pier Beer

Hastings Pier

Pier Poster (640x452)

All Around The America Ground from The General Havelock to the Pier and Back

The sleek Pier comes into view, striding confidently into the sea with the profile of a slender long submarine riding the waves. Through the iron gates and the sheer space is exhilarating.

Rejuvenated and modernist, the pier matches the literary definition that is ‘a structure built out into the sea to serve as a place to promenade’. During the year, the circus comes, children’s rides add laughter, concerts and raves beat out over the seafront. Fish and chips and finer dining and a coffee behind the glass windbreak on the bridge but most of it is the walk to the end of the pier for the finest view of Hastings and St Leonards. It is the best show in town.

Back to the Pavilion and the opportunity for a well-kept pint of Harvey’s Best from the Bar but if you want to drink it outside, to ride the waves and soak up the sun, it will be served in a plastic glass. On a July day, it was a perfect spot for a perfect lunch, sharing good food, good beer and decent wine amongst friends. That’s Hastings life at its very best.

For something a little different, forgo the Harvey’s Best for a bottle of Pier Beer, specially brewed for Hastings Pier by Harvey’s but with different notes.

Details of this and other pub walks can be found ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards.

Watch on You Tube: http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/news-caky

The Guidebook is available from:

For a full list of stockists and walks in the History Walk series see website

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk